Bubble cloud dynamics in high-pressure spherical resonator
Anderson, Phillip Andrew
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A bubble cloud is a population of bubbles confined to a region within a fluid. Bubble clouds play a large role in a variety of naturally occurring phenomena and man-made applications (e.g., ocean noise, cavitation damage, sonoluminescence, ultrasonic cleaning, drug delivery; lithotripsy). It is important, therefore, to understand the behavior of bubble clouds so that their effects may be enhanced or diminished as desired. This work explores and characterizes the properties of bubble clouds nucleated inside a high-pressure spherical acoustic resonator, in connection with recent interest in acoustic inertial confinement fusion (acoustic ICF). A laser system was developed to repeatably nucleate a cloud of bubbles inside the resonator. The resulting events were then observed, primarily with schlieren imaging methods. Preliminary studies of the bubble cloud dynamics showed the sensitivity of the initial cloud to nucleation parameters including the phase of nucleation, the laser energy, and the acoustic power. After many acoustic cycles, some bubble clouds are observed to evolve into a tight cluster. The formation of these clusters correlates with initial bubble distributions which have a large cloud interaction parameter, β. Cluster dynamics are seen to be largely driven by reconverging shock waves from previous collapses reflected from the resonator's interior surface. Initial expansion of the cluster boundary is on the order of 8 mm/µs and the maximum radius approaches 3 mm. Shock pressures are estimated to be > 10 GPa at a radius of 100 µm using weak shock theory.
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